Healthcare Businesses Explore Innovative Ways to Provide Safe Home Medication Management
Providers, pharmacies, insurers, patients and families all agree that better medication adherence can improve care and reduce costs. The numbers are striking:
With a mutual commitment to innovation and teamwork, everyone in the healthcare ecosystem can enjoy the financial, safety and quality of life benefits that will result from improved medication adherence.
Caring for a loved one can bring the two of you closer together. It can also be profoundly stressful. Caregivers receive little social support, and it takes a toll on their well-being. Nearly 60 percent of California’s Caregiver Resource Center’s clients show symptoms of depression. Another study found that 41 percent of people who cared for a spouse with Alzheimer’s had depressive symptoms. Caregiving can can even affect your physical health; seventeen percent of caregivers say their health is fair or poor, compared to just 10 percent in the general population.
Nearly 90 percent of seniors over the age of 65 hope to age in place, spending the next 10 years or longer in their homes. Most seniors envision restful, meaningful retirements filled with good health, new activities, and visits from family and friends. Too often, medical conditions turn this vision into something far less idyllic. Missed medications, endless prescriptions, too many trips to the doctor, and accidental medication overdoses pose serious dangers to seniors’ health and well-being.
Have you ever wondered if there is an easier way to manage the medications you or your loved one are currently taking? After all, between keeping the medication schedule straight and simply remembering to take them, managing your medications can feel like a serious chore. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake with prescription or over-the-counter medications, the consequences can be serious or even deadly.
Change can be hard. It can also greatly improve lives. Consider how email has made it easy to stay in touch across time and distance, without a lot of expense. Or how streaming services have put your favorite television shows and movies at your fingertips. Every revolutionary change requires some adjustment. You might have to master new skills or change your attitude toward technology. But a willingness to try new things can open new opportunities for a better life. Many seniors and some caregivers are reluctant to give automatic pill dispensers a try. Yet within a few days, almost everyone who invests in these machines is a convert.
Here are the most common objections caregivers hear from seniors—and how you can overcome them to ensure the senior you love gets the best possible care.
When is the last time you reviewed your senior loved one’s medication list? You may be surprised to see how many medications they take each day, each with a carefully prescribed timeline from their physician. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and you aren’t alone. A research study published in the Journals of Gerontology suggests that 46 percent of seniors aged 70-79 take at least five medications per day, and that number doesn’t include over-the-counter medicines or supplements.
Medication for seniors saves lives, boosts independence, and reduces pain. But for too many seniors, the burden of daily medication management is too much. Twenty percent of patients who take one medication a day are unable to follow their doctor’s medication recommendations. Among seniors taking four or more pills a day, that figure soars to 50 percent. Missed pills can cause chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes to get worse. Seniors who take too many pills can experience catastrophic health issues such as negative drug interactions, drug overdoses, and painful side effects. In addition, over or under medicating can contribute to the risk of falls, leading to a variety of other complications including broken bones, hospitalization, or the inability to call for help.